Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Ultimate Healthy Breakfast

I used to be anti-breakfast. I would live on diet soda until lunch, then inhale a "number eight" at the closest drive thru. Luckily I wised up in college and realized that I couldn't focus in class if my stomach was growling loud enough to invite stares from anyone sitting within a ten food radius. This isn't to say that my breakfast was healthy by any means. Usually it was leftover pizza, half a candy bar, or whatever baked sugar bomb the coffee cart was selling.

These days I'm all about a healthy breakfast. Breakfast cereal rarely makes an appearance at our kitchen table - the simple sugars and lack of protein and fiber just don't do it for me. I need to send my daughter to school with a balanced meal in her tummy. Bacon, eggs and whole wheat toast are favorites, as are whole grain cinnamon rolls (a dusting of powdered sugar instead of frosting) with a side of fruit and milk. After doing a lot of research about the health benefits of whole grains - and better yet, how to get the most benefits from your whole grains by soaking them to "unlock" all of the nutrition - I designed this awesome bowl of warm, hearty goodness. It does require a little bit of planning ahead, but trust me - your body and brain will thank you.

1c Thrive Instant Oats
4T Thrive 9 Grain Cracked Cereal
2T Whey (leftover from making your own cream cheese)*
2T Thrive Whole Wheat Flour
1c Warm Water
1c Milk
2 to 4t Brown Sugar
Dash Cinnamon

The night before, combine oats and cracked cereal. Add just enough warm water to reach the top of the oats, then stir in whey and whole wheat flour. Leave the mixture on your kitchen counter overnight. In the morning, drain any remaining liquid and discard. Stir in the milk and heat, either in the microwave or on the stove. Add brown sugar and cinnamon before serving.

Curious what makes this the ultimate healthy breakfast? Check out the nutrition on this bowl of yumminess:

Per serving (makes 2 servings): Calories 304.9, Fat 3.2 g, Cholesterol 1.9 mg, Sodium 56.2 mg, Potassium 535.6 mg, Fiber 10.9 g, Protein  10.5 g + tons of vitamins and minerals!

*If you don't have any whey but still want to soak your grains, you can substitute a tablespoon of plain yogurt or buttermilk. I prefer whey because you can't taste it at all after the cereal is cooked. You can skip the soaking step altogether, but I promise you will notice a difference in not only the flavor of the cereal but also how full/satisfied you feel after eating it! Want to learn more about soaking your grains? This blog post gives an excellent explanation. Whey can be stored in an air tight container in your fridge for quite a while. You'll know when it goes bad because it smells really gross.

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